Kalondolondo programme making a difference in monitoring government projects’

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District Commissioner for Mwanza and some chiefs from Mwanza and Chikwawa have expressed satisfaction with what ‘Kalondolondo’, a programme that evaluates government projects, is doing saying it is helping in making stakeholders accountable.

Kalondolondo reports have revealed that Mwanza has done well in Local Development Fund (LDF) compared to other districts. On the other hand Chikhwawa is among poor performers in Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

According to the Women’s Legal Resource Centre (WOLRC), the NGO tasked to evaluate how LDF was managed in Mwanza, the district constructed a total of 20 houses using the fund.

Out of the 20 houses, 17 have passed through the completion stage and only 3 houses are not yet completed.

Mponda Banda, District Development Officer for Mwanza, told Malawi News that Kalondolondo is ensuring that all governments’ projects are monitored and that all stakeholders are accountable.

“When projects are done without monitors people tend to relax, the result is poor quality structures, sometimes rampart mismanagement,” he said.

Banda further said Mwanza is encountering several problems as far as finishing projects in time is concerned due to the fact that it is at the boarder.

“People do compare with what is happening across the border hence some builders abandon projects to go to Mozambique for better perks,” he said.

Mwanza DC Smart Gwedemula said that he was very pleased to be rated as a star performer in LDF projects and promised not to relax.

“Though some people look at Kalondolondo with a negative eye, it is helping us to perform better in projects because we are aware of being monitored, unlike when there is nobody, we tend to relax,” he said.

Centre for Children’s Affairs Malawi (CFCAM), an NGO which is implementing

Kalondolondo projects in Chikhwawa, said CDF has been poorly managed in the district. It says, for instance, at least 40 per cent of the projects are being implemented without committees while 60 per cent of the projects have committees but are heavily politicised.

Traditional Authority Ngabu said that CDF is poorly managed because MP’s control them and chiefs are given no chance to help.

“Most MP’s tell villagers that they use their money to implement projects in their areas and Kalondolondo has proven otherwise,” he said.

But MP for Chikhwawa East Lackson Chirwa defended himself, saying that CDF is very little for an MP to do wonders with it.

“The fund was started to help MP ease pressure from their various constituencies therefore it was like a political pocket,” he said.

Chirwa, however, admitted that MPs are to blame because they tend to be over-ambitious in projects they plan to implement.

Kalondolondo is an advocacy and community empowerment project started in 2008 by a consortium of Plan Malawi, Action Aid and the Council for Non-Governmental Organisations (CONGOMA). Its objective is to enable people from rural areas make an input in delivery of services in health, education, water and sanitation and agriculture sectors.

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